Kodi is thinking about using DRM to fight piracy

Update: Kodi has responded to TorrentFreak's original article with a post on its blog which states that the group is not looking to provide DRM content or control how people watch their own content. Instead the software might at some point in the future be equipped with the means to support DRM content provides via addons, in addition to the software's existing functionality. 

Original article continues below...

Kodi is a fantastic media streaming program, but it’s gained an unfortunate reputation over the years as a piece of piracy software thanks to the way third-party developers have been producing add-ons that enable access to thousands of premium channels without paying a penny. 

For its part, Kodi has been fighting back by going after those who sell hardware with pirate Kodi add-ons pre-installed, but the bad reputation is proving hard to shake. 

This difficulty exists in part because of Kodi’s status as open-source software. It’s great for getting lots of people to contribute to your software, but more problematic when they’re using this access to create software that’s illegal. 

A solution? DRM

Speaking to TorrentFreak, XBMC’s Project lead Martijn Kaijser said that blocking these add-ons wasn’t an option, but that enticing legal content onto the platform, in part through the use of DRM, could be a solution to changing Kodi’s reputation. 

The idea would be that Kodi would enable the use of DRM, allowing providers to bring their content to the platform without worrying about it being pirated. 

Ideally this would not only benefit Kodi users, who would have access to more content, but would also build a relationship with content providers, who would no longer see Kodi as a piece of piracy software to be fought with legal challenges. 

Kodi hasn’t committed to its DRM plans just yet, but it will be interesting to see whether the software is able to make these changes without losing what has become its appeal for much of its audience, whether the team likes this or not. 

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.